Roasted Leg of Lamb with Black Olives, Lemon and Thyme

  • serves 6
Christine Cushing
Christine Cushing

Recipe courtesy Massimo Capra, Executive Chef, Mistura Restaurant, Toronto.

22 Ratings
Directions for: Roasted Leg of Lamb with Black Olives, Lemon and Thyme


1 leg of Ontario lamb, medium size, trimmed (about 4 pounds, 1792 g)

2 medium carrots, roughly chopped

2 celery stalks, roughly chopped

4 whole garlic cloves

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 bunch of thyme

4 bay leaves

1 Tbsp vegetable oil (15 ml)

olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

white wine, for roasting and deglazing

2 lemons

2 cup of taggiasche (Nicoise) olives (500 ml)


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

2. Season leg of lamb with salt and pepper and rub well with minced garlic. Heat a skillet on high heat. Add one tbsp. vegetable oil. Sear lamb on all sides until well browned, about 8 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile while lamb is searing, cover the bottom of a roasting pan with carrots, celery, whole garlic, then add herbs. Transfer seared leg of lamb to roasting pan, on top of the vegetables. Sprinkle lamb with some olive oil.

3. Transfer lamb to preheated oven. Keep the meat moist while roasting by adding a splash of wine or some stock during the cooking time. If the lamb becomes too dark while cooking, cover the lamb with aluminum foil. Roast lamb until done to your likeness. Use a meat thermometer inserted in the centre of the lamb to determined doneness. For rare, roast lamb until 140 degrees F. for rare, for medium, roast lamb until 150 to 160 degrees F. and for well done, roast lamb until registers 165 to 170 degrees F.

4. Remove the lamb from the roasting pan, cover with aluminum foil. Let rest, about 15 minutes in a warm place.

5. To prepare the sauce for the lamb, add about 1 cup of wine to the roasting pan. Cook stove top over medium high heat, scraping bottom of the pan to incorporate all the pan drippings. Simmer a 5 to 10 minutes to extract the flavour. Strain and set aside.

6. Preheat a saucepan on medium high heat, add a tbsp. of olive oil and the olives. Sauté for a few seconds. Add the strained sauce. Simmer for a 2 to 3 minutes. Grate rind of lemons over the sauce. Add a squeeze of lemon juice.

7. Slice the lamb and serve with a good dousing of sauce over it.

See more: Lamb, Herbs, Citrus, Main, Italian, Roast, Dinner, Olives

More Recipes You'll Love